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Groundbreaking Held For More Modern South Street Seaport

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - An iconic East River tourist spot is getting a bold new look.

The South Street Seaport has always provided a link to the city's gritty maritime past, but it's getting a glitzy facelift.

"You're going to have an offering of entertainment, culture, food offerings and retail," David Weinreb, CEO of developer The Howard Hughes Corporation said. "The redeveloped South Street Seaport will include 40 percent more open space to the public and be highlighted by an acre and a half rooftop."

Groundbreaking Held For More Modern South Street Seaport

"Cobblestone. We're going to use wood, we're going to use those historic materials, we're just going to do them in a very contemporary and forward-looking way," architect Greg Pascarelli said.

Pier 17 at South Street Seaport
Pier 17 at South Street Seaport, Oct. 17, 2013. (credit: Peter Haskell/WCBS 880)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking at Pier 17 on Thursday.

"The best days are still to come for the Seaport," the mayor said.

The new Seaport will be good for the neighborhood "by strengthening the local economies, supporting small businesses," City Councilmember Margaret Chin said.

Groundbreaking Held For More Modern South Street Seaport

Developers said the new Seaport, slated to open in 2016, will drive the neighborhood's post-Sandy recovery.

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